Thursday, September 13, 2007

Japan launches its first lunar orbiter

Image: Lunar probe launch
"TOKYO - After a number of delays, Japan's space agency has launched its first lunar orbiter, marking the latest move in an international race to explore the moon.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, or JAXA, is calling the Kaguya project the most ambitious mission to the moon since the Apollo flights, more than three decades ago. The $479 million mission is also known as SELENE, or Selenological and Engineering Explorer.

The rocket carrying the three-ton orbiter took off into blue skies, leaving a huge trail of vapor over the tiny island of Tanegashima, about 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo, at 10:31 a.m. Friday (9:31 p.m. ET Thursday) as it headed out over the Pacific Ocean."

Continue reading at MSNBC.


This photo from Yahoo! News Photo.

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